Still not really satisfied that you have a pretty truthful depiction after all the verbiage you've read about Obama's last State of the Union address? Really need just a little more enlightenment? (Or some light on the situation at all?) From our ever-attentive reporter at Down With Tyranny. (Don't read this yet if you're having a really bad Sunday. Trust me.)
The corporate assault on culture, journalism, education, the arts and critical thinking has left those who speak this truth marginalized and ignored, frantic Cassandras who are viewed as slightly unhinged and depressingly apocalyptic. We are consumed by a mania for hope, which our corporate masters lavishly provide, at the expense of truth.
January 29, 2014
Confidential to Dilbert's CEO: If Anybody Makes a Fuss About Your Drones-to-Terrorists Deal, Just Say, "Who Could Have Known?"
Or, if you need stronger stuff, we've got a new jeremiad from Chris Hedges
Here on the Pequod: Yes, that's Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab.
Says Chris H: "We, like Ahab and his crew, rationalize our collective madness. All calls for prudence, for halting the march toward economic, political and environmental catastrophe, for sane limits on carbon emissions, are ignored or ridiculed. . . ."
Or, if you're a little farther back from the precipice, you can just do Dilbert.
No, if you're in the grip of advanced existential (possibly existentio-occupational) rage, Dilbert probably won't do it. Not when (and I can say this from personal experience, all-too-recent personal experience) you're sitting in your cubicle confronting the cold hard reality that life is really, really hard and also pretty darned pointless - and you know in the depths of your soul that it should be only one or the other, that both is just plain nuts and utterly inexcusable. No, at that point what you probably need is a Chris Hedges jeremiad, explaining why the end is nigh, maybe just a matter of weeks. And luckily we've got one of those ready for the taking, called "The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies."
Chris has apparently been reading Moby-Dick, and Ahab and the crew and, yes, even the White Whale all work for him as a literary representation of our voyage to nowhere.
Our financial system — like our participatory democracy — is a mirage. The Federal Reserve purchases $85 billion in U.S. Treasury bonds — much of it worthless subprime mortgages — each month. It has been artificially propping up the government and Wall Street like this for five years. It has loaned trillions of dollars at virtually no interest to banks and firms that make money — because wages are kept low — by lending it to us at staggering interest rates that can climb to as high as 30 percent. ... Or our corporate oligarchs hoard the money or gamble with it in an overinflated stock market.Now I don't mean to make light of this. I have no doubt that Chris is probably right, and there are times, as I suggested above, when this straight truth is all that will do. At less stressed moments, however, I wish I could take Chris's hand and urge him to chill, friend, that things aren't all that desperate, or even if they are, well, what are you gonna do? Look at the bright side. I'm pretty sure there are still more new episodes of The Good Wife to come this season.
Estimates put the looting by banks and investment firms of the U.S. Treasury at between $15 trillion and $20 trillion. But none of us know. The figures are not public. And the reason this systematic looting will continue until collapse is that our economy [would] go into a tailspin without this giddy infusion of free cash.
The ecosystem is at the same time disintegrating. Scientists from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean, a few days ago, issued a new report that warned that the oceans are changing faster than anticipated and increasingly becoming inhospitable to life. The oceans, of course, have absorbed much of the excess CO2 and heat from the atmosphere. This absorption is rapidly warming and acidifying ocean waters. This is compounded, the report noted, by increased levels of deoxygenation from nutrient runoffs from farming and climate change. The scientists called these effects a “deadly trio” that when combined is creating changes in the seas that are unprecedented in the planet’s history.
This is their language, not mine. The scientists wrote that each of the earth’s five known mass extinctions was preceded by at least one [part] of the “deadly trio”—acidification, warming and deoxygenation. They warned that “the next mass extinction” of sea life is already under way, the first in some 55 million years. Or look at the recent research from the University of Hawaii that says global warming is now inevitable, it cannot be stopped but at best slowed, and that over the next 50 years the earth will heat up to levels that will make whole parts of the planet uninhabitable. Tens of millions of people will be displaced and millions of species will be threatened with extinction. The report casts doubt that [cities on or near a coast] such as New York or London will endure.
Yet we, like Ahab and his crew, rationalize our collective madness. All calls for prudence, for halting the march toward economic, political and environmental catastrophe, for sane limits on carbon emissions, are ignored or ridiculed. Even with the flashing red lights before us, the increased droughts, rapid melting of glaciers and Arctic ice, monster tornadoes, vast hurricanes, crop failures, floods, raging wildfires and soaring temperatures, we bow slavishly before hedonism and greed and the enticing illusion of limitless power, intelligence and prowess.
The corporate assault on culture, journalism, education, the arts and critical thinking has left those who speak this truth marginalized and ignored, frantic Cassandras who are viewed as slightly unhinged and depressingly apocalyptic. We are consumed by a mania for hope, which our corporate masters lavishly provide, at the expense of truth. . . .
If you can manage to step back this far from the brink, then Dilbert may be just what the doctor ordered. Why, just these last couple of days we've had --
DILBERT - Yesterday (click to enlarge)
DILBERT -- Today (click to enlarge)
NOW, BY WAY OF REMINDER WHERE DILBERT
HIMSELF STANDS IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS -
DILBERT - Monday (click to enlarge)
No, this isn't much like Life with Ahab. It's more like if you imagined that the Pequod had a lounge with a nice flat-screen TV and an endless supply of DVDs, and life was sweet as long as you were cool with knowing that each night's entertainment had to begin with an episode of Parenthood because the captain "just can't get enough of that sweetie Lauren Graham."
posted by KenInNY
Like the latest news about what's probably (really) in the water we drink? And that's before the fracking cataclysms take hold?
The formaldehyde in your water is not from the spill. The formaldehyde in your water is from . . . somewhere else. "Formaldehyde In Your Water -- It's The New Normal."
By Charles Pierce, Esquire
01 February 14
t has been amusing to watch the local politicians and government officials in West Virginia try to comfort their constituents, while simultaneously keeping faith with the corporations to whom they have been whoring out the state for two centuries, including the hilariously named -- and now conveniently bankrupt -- Freedom Industries, which poisoned all the water in the state.
Scott Simonton, a Marshall University environmental engineer, told a legislative committee Wednesday that he found cancer-causing formaldehyde - which he said is one possible breakdown product from the chemical - in one local water sample and that the continued lack of data on the chemicals that leaked into the Elk is very concerning.Gee, that sounds bad. Wait, here's some people from the state to reassure us.
"It's frightening, it really is frightening," said Simonton, who is a member of the state Environmental Quality Board and also consults for at least one local law firm that's filed suit over the leak. "What we know scares us -- and we know there's a lot more we don't know."
Dr. Letitia Tierney, commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health, said Wednesday evening that the chemists the state had consulted with all said the formaldehyde could not have come from the MCHM. "Our experts are all in agreement that it's unlikely that his findings are in any way related to the chemical spill," she said. "It's already in our environment."
Andrew Whelton, an environmental engineer from the University of South Alabama, drove to West Virginia after the leak. He and his team of researchers have been taking water samples and helping residents complete the flushing process, but with a different set of guidelines than the state and West Virginia American recommended.
For example, Whelton emphasizes that residents should open their windows during the flushing process and use ceiling or floor fans to push chemical fumes outside. Whelton also suggests shutting off hot-water tanks before flushing because chemicals in the water will evaporate faster into your home or workplace from hot water than from cold.
In an interview, Whelton said it's crucial that officials begin testing and sampling inside people's homes to determine the level of contamination of plumbing systems and what to do about it. "I can't believe they aren't doing this," Whelton said. "These issues aren't being addressed. The long-term consequences of this spill are not being addressed."
I can believe it. And so, apparently, can people in Cincinnati.
Matthew Davis, 21, was among those still waiting for the ban to be lifted. After rinsing off at a creek last week, he finally enjoyed a hot shower Tuesday at his fiancee's house 30 minutes away. Davis had his wisdom teeth removed just before the water ban. "Pretty much all I had was Coke, and that hurt," he said.Those bastards.